J’pura Canada Alumni Association (JCAA) was established in 2008 in Toronto Canada with few passed out graduates of J’pura University domiciled in Canada with the expectations to serve our mother country, the university we studied and the community we live in Canada. Starting a new life in completely unfamiliar foreign country with entirely different atmosphere in every field would be a very big challenge. Although their beginnings were humble, they earned a stable and comfortable living condition due to hard work, courage, perseverance and the education and training they received from their alma mater. Slowly and steadily they establish themselves in their new life in Canada.
Extending a supportive hand to a needy university student, who is struggling in achieving his/her life long dream of reaching to a upper elevation in life by merely hard work and perseverance in studies would be an undeniably commendable act. We believe, it as our imperative duty and a responsibility.
Amidst their busy and ever challenging life in Canada, most of our friends devoted considerable time to bring up the J’pura Canada Alumni Association with strong determination and persistence. The results of that firmness are numerous. In addition to initiating the invaluable undertaking of offering scholarships to deserving and needy students in Sri Jayewardenepura University, JCAA have lined up few other activities as new comer supporting seminars where new young immigrants have received valuable exposure for employment related matters, blood donation programmes of Canada Blood Services a significant humanitarian pursuit and helping the Buddhist temples in Toronto in its various religious activities.
Collecting funds for the scholarships had been a real challenge. We plan and accomplished many fund raising activities. Dinner dance, pot luck lunch packet sale, and stage play and showing renowned Sri Lankan movies were carried out and raised funds for the scholarship programme.
At the initial stage JCAA offered 9 scholarships in 2009/10 academic year and in year 2010/11 it was increased to 17 with the generous support of the Sri Lankan community living in greater Toronto area. Most of JCAA members especially the executive committee and their spouses had to cook and prepare lunch packet to sell and raise funds. You would imagine the hardships they faced in working through the night at minus 20C temperature in the month of January in severe winter in Canada. It made easy, purely because of the sprit and unchanging friendship developed among the members of the executive committee of the JCAA.
With this strength in mind and dedication, it was possible collected sufficient funds to offer 30 scholarships to deserving students in university for the year 2011/12 and JCAA is proud to say that it was continued to offer same number of scholarships up to this year 2015/16 without any break.
This scholarship programme is completely managed by the Vice Chancellor’s office of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura. VC’s office calls applications from the students and screens them and select with very transparent procedures and send to J’pura Alumni Association for the final selections. After taking into account the academic performances, attendance, extra curricular activities, discipline and the financial stability of the family as vital points, the executive committee make the final selections of the scholarship recipients. Once the final selections are done J’pura Alumni Association remit funds to VC’s official bank account for monthly donations for the selected students.
The programme has now reached to a significant stage. In this year 2015/16, individual donors sponsored 25 scholarships out of total of 30 because of its high credibility. It is evident the confidence built among the members of the JCAA on this programme. JCAA is pleased to disclose that already J’pura Canada Alumni Association have contributed more than Rs.2 million for this worthy cause.
We strongly believe that the financial assistance every scholar received monthly under the J’pura Canada Scholarships programme for one full year had been a strong support for the recipient student to keep up his or her life sustainable.
We take this opportunity to say a word of thanks in appreciation of the support we receive from the academic as well as non academic staff of the university in managing this programme successfully.
Finally, we have a important message for the recipients of these scholarships. “Your success in academic as well as in non academic disciplines will make us delighted certainly. Please do not fail to remember that you have a duty and a responsibility to be fulfilled towards your country as well as to your University.”
Helasiri. S. Lokuliyana
Secretary J’pura Canada Alumni Association
10th October 2015